I was reading this morning in Luther’s Table Talk, and came across an insight that is more than a little relevant to some of our confessional and dogmatic controversies. When someone had proposed the collected works of Luther, he said this (the emphasis is mine):
“I’d like all my books to be destroyed so that only the sacred writings in the Bible would be diligently read. For one is referred from one book to another, as it happened in the ancient church, when one turned from a reading of the Bible to a reading of Eusebius, then of Jerome, then of Gregory, and finally of the scholastics and philosophers. This will happen to us too.”
The desire to have all his works destroyed is obviously hyperbole, but Luther knew that the natural human tendency to elevate human teachers (however honorable) above the Word of God was not a human tendency eradicated by the Reformation.